Seven Reasons To Get A Flu Shot


If you're considering forgoing a flu shot this season, Dr. Ronald Hubbard, a St. Francis Medical Group primary care physician, gives you seven reasons why you should reconsider.

1. A flu shot can save your life.

The flu can cause some serious complications that sometimes require hospitalization, such as dehydration, worsening of chronic illnesses, bacterial pneumonia, ear infections and sinus infections.

Each year, in Louisiana alone, the flu causes approximately 700 deaths and nearly 8,000 hospitalizations according to the Louisiana Department of Health. 

2. Getting a flu shot can reduce your sick days.
Whether you are hospitalized or take time off to recuperate at home, it’s going to cost you and your employer. The flu accounts for 111 million lost workdays and nearly $7 billion in lost productivity and sick days annually, according to

3. Most people are eligible to get the flu shot.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the flu shot for anyone over six months of age.

4. There is a flu shot for older adults.
There is a flu shot that is given to people over the age of six months, as well as a version suitable for people 65 and over, which gives them even better protection against the flu.

5. The flu shot changes each year.
Before each flu season, the CDC determines which strains of influenza appear most likely to occur that year. The vaccine will reduce your chances of contracting certain strains of the virus and if you do get sick, having the vaccine can significantly reduce the severity of your symptoms and your ability to get over it faster.

The strain that is introduced through the flu shot is killed. When your immune system comes into contact with that killed virus, it activates the immune system and creates antibodies. If you do come across the real flu, then you’re ready to fight it off and reduce chances of getting sick from the flu.

6. Flu shot side effects are usually mild.
With any vaccine, side effects are possible. After the flu shot, you may experience minor side effects such as headache, stuffy nose or sore throat, while others may experience no side effects at all. These side effects typically last a day or so, while the flu itself can exhibit symptoms for up to two weeks. 

7. The flu shot helps with herd immunity.
Getting the flu shot is not only important for yourself but also those who aren’t eligible to get the vaccine, such as infants or those with suppressed immune systems. This protection created by the population getting immunized is called herd immunity, and helps to lower the risk of spreading the flu.

The flu virus can spread very easily from person to person. You can simply get it when an infected person talks, sneezes or coughs, and small microscopic droplets get in your nose or mouth. You can also get the flu by touching something that has the virus germs on it, then touching your mouth, eyes or nose.

It is not too late to get a flu shot. Flu shots are available at all St. Francis Medical Group primary care clinics. Click here for details.

About Our Lady of the Lake

Our Lady of the Lake is a not-for-profit 800-bed medical center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with more than 7,100 employees committed to building a healthy community through excellence in patient care and education. With a Regional Medical Center, dedicated Children’s Hospital, two freestanding emergency rooms, and a 450-provider Physician Group, Our Lady of the Lake provides comprehensive healthcare services for common to complex conditions. Our Lady of the Lake is a primary teaching site for graduate medical education programs and is recognized in the areas of heart and vascular, trauma and emergency care, stroke, cancer care, minimally-invasive procedures and more. In 2016, Our Lady of the Lake was one of three hospitals recognized by the American Hospital Association with the Quest for Quality Prize award.

About Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital

Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital is Louisiana’s fastest growing children’s hospital treating more than 100,000 patients annually from across Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. The hospital is the only healthcare provider in the Baton Rouge area that provides a full range of pediatric services ranging from a 24/7 pediatric emergency room to a team of more than 100 pediatricians and pediatric specialists. For more information, visit

The new freestanding Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital is currently under construction and is set to open in 2019. To learn more about the project, visit

About Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health

Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health is a collaborative, coordinated and child-focused statewide health network that provides patients with more access to physicians and providers specifically trained to care for children. The network includes hospital-based services at the main campus in Baton Rouge and the future freestanding hospital, as well as in Monroe with St. Francis Pediatrics. It also connects pediatricians, pediatric specialists and other health providers across our state with clinics in the Baton Rouge region, Hammond, Lafayette and Monroe. This model of coordinated pediatric healthcare extends the vital work happening at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital into more communities across Louisiana so families have greater access to expertise close to home.

About the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System

The Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System is one of the largest healthcare systems based in Louisiana and is the leading healthcare provider for more than half of Louisiana's population, as well as serves Mississippi's largest metropolitan area. The health system is a non-profit, Catholic organization sponsored by the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady. Headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the ministry serves patients in Louisiana and Mississippi through a network of hospitals, clinics, physicians, elderly housing and integrated systems.

About Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group

With more than 450 healthcare providers throughout more than 70 locations, Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group is one of the area’s largest physician networks. In addition to primary care, this experienced group of doctors specializes in diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of illnesses and complex medical problems.

About St. Elizabeth Physicians

St. Elizabeth Physicians is the largest provider of primary and specialty care in Ascension Parish, employing over 50 primary care physicians, specialists and providers. St. Elizabeth Physicians has been recognized for quality by the Louisiana Quality Foundation, and as the Large Business of the Year twice by the Ascension Chamber of Commerce. For more information, visit the St. Elizabeth Hospital website.

About St. Francis Medical Center

St. Francis Medical Center is a not-for-profit 359-bed medical center in Monroe, Louisiana with more than 1,800 team members committed to caring for those we serve. With an acute-care hospital, freestanding outpatient center, 19 outpatient clinics, and nearly 350 physician partners, St. Francis Medical Center provides comprehensive healthcare services for a variety of medical and surgical specialties. St. Francis offers Northeast Louisiana’s only Level III NICU, Level III OB, and Level II PICU services. St. Francis Medical Center leads the region in heart and vascular services, critical care, and complex and minimally invasive surgical procedures. The hospital offers an Accredited Chest Pain Center and Centers of Excellence in the areas of obstetrics, bariatric surgery, minimally invasive gynecology, and breast health.

About St. Francis Medical Group

With over 50 healthcare providers at 16 clinic locations, St. Francis Medical Group is one of the area’s largest physician networks and is backed by the resources of St. Francis Medical Center. In addition to primary care, this experienced group of providers specializes in diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of illnesses and complex medical problems. For more information visit the St. Francis Medical Center website.